We have a 1 year old puppy and 2 small children (ages 2 and 4).
We are starting to have SERIOUS problems out in our yard playing. The dog has been charging at the kids - running full speed ahead into them directly and knocking them down. Both of my kids have had this happen to them and to be honest, it's a miracle he didn't seriously injure them.
Let me say, that I understand it is a matter of training. I need help in training him not to do this. I had been keeping him on a long lead when outside and not letting him run after them for a long time. Today, I took the lead off to give him a chance and my 2 year old started running and she went down HARD after he ran directly into her.
Also, not allowing my children to run in the yard is just not an option. So, I need suggestions that do not involve telling a 2 and 4 year old not to run outside.
Thanks so much!!!
I really think you need to find a really top quality trainer in your area and have him/her come over to observe and then give you some help. From what you descirbe you are fighting a basic instinct in the dog, to chase something running from him/her. I run from HK when she is not responding to a recall and it works.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Yep, a good trainer will help you out.. this article is great, should be required reading for all parents with exuberant dogs and kids:
http://hometown.aol.com/morndogs/myhomepage/index.html (particularly the "go wild and freeze' game)
Your dog needs to be taught a very strong and reliable recall so you can head him off before he takes off. I would do this first on a long 30 foot lead (check cord). Start of and call him and reel him in if you have to and praise and treat (cookies, hot dogs, etc). Start with him in a sit stay then a down stay and then allow him to walk around the yard and sniff, etc. Then let him trail the lead behind him in the yard. If he goes to bolt after then when they begin to run then you call him - if he keeps going then grab the long lead.
my neice and nephew have spent many weekends with us since they were born - my nephew has no off switch at all and never has ... we live with some large boisterous dogs (one of whom is a 95 pound dane gsd mix so has some herding drive)
the dog is 3; kids are now 5 and 7 so I've been nearly exactly where you are
I manage the dogs and kids but it can be challenging - our current foster dog HATES kids and the running puts her into orbit so she is NEVER off leash when they are here - if I had young children myself I would never have taken her in...
the kids learned "green light; red light" aunty's rules once they were toddling.. if they are running around and one of the dogs is getting a bit wired I call the dogs name (the biggest has a terrific recall) and red light..kids stop instantly- dogs tears to me and all is good - everybody gets a great reward for listening and we go back to play - I give the kids dog free play time and the dogs kid free play time but usually both groups are bugging me to be together...
rules for everybody (kids and adults included- when there are other adults here the basic basic rule is nobody leaves a dog alone with a kid EVER) and management help - a good trainer will help too - your dog is still a youth too
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
ah, don't ya love it?
My dog did this and still will try once in a while. We got him at 7 months so I missed alot of the puppy training stuff. We had to keep him seperate from the kids until he learned he couldn't run with them. Now, I can yell no and he will stop and come back to me but it is tough training and not just when you want to play in the yard. He needs to learn to respect the kids and you need to teach him that you are in charge of the kids. This starts inside the home.
A leash will cure the problem for now and a good trainer will help you.
When we got our first Lab, I had a 2, 3 and 5 year old. I used the time outside with the kids and dog to practice recall, sit and stays and even retrieves. I did it on a treat-reward basis, so I could keep his attention.
Yes, periodically we had those same incidents, and there were lots of tears. The kids learned very quickly to give a firm "off" or even a "sit" for the pup when he got in to that "chase" mode. It takes time and lots of patience. Also, I found with a good long early morning walk, the puppy was much more even keeled throughout the day, and didn't have quite so many of those episodes.
Good luck!!! In the end, you'll find it was all worth it!
Brenda from Connecticut
I had the same issue when my daughter, Sara was about 3 when we got our last lab Callie. She would run run run and Callie would obviously outrun her and knock her over. A long lead and many many practice training sessions taught Callie to always run behind Sara. It got to the point when my husband would play with Callie, she'd be quite rough, then with me a bit less, and she wouldn't "wrestle" at all with Sara. Sara would get so upset that Callie wouldn't get rougher with her, almost as if Callie knew she was little and couldn't handle as much. It's tons of work, but well worth it. I'm also glad that getting rid of the pup is not an option... it's tons of work, but so well worth it.
Do your kids a favour and train them and the dog. If more kids knew how to behave around dogs, less kids would get hurt.